My goal was to make a triumphal arch-like gate with ancient and fantasy feeling, and with original patterns. I wanted to place the gate in an abandoned, undiscovered place. I had no concept of drawings, but the composition was in my mind: nearly orthogonal (isometric) view from top, as though an explorer had climbed a big rock having looked downwards on a gigantic building.
I had got no idea of the ornamental style, because I wanted to use my new modeling technique, called "kaleidoscope modeling". This is a strange technique that I can't control at all now, but with it, I can make strange shapes in 10-15(!) seconds. At the end of this article I will write more about this "kaleidoscope modeling" technique.
I never change the view when I create a picture, because I work as a painter: the view is fixed and I "paint" the new parts. Maybe the lights will change, but not so much. So, from the beginning the view in my mind was this:
First I made the base of the gate with simple modeling: scaling and extruding cubes.
Then I made the two base pillars, that gave the style of the gate. For this I used the "kaleidoscope modeling" technique. The result:
I used this pillar for making the top arch of the gate. The original pillar mesh is simple, so my work was easy: I lifted up the center vertices of the pillar. With this I created an arch - smooth arch, because of the subdiv. (In Blender, the subdiv is real-time, like a modifier. In edit mode we can modify only the original mesh.)